The only organization where professionals interested in all aspects of industrial relations and
human resources come together to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues and practices in the field.


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The Industrial Relations Research Association was established in 1948. In December of that year, local members founded the Washington, D.C. Chapter.  Click here to read more history. 


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Labor Confronts a New Era:
Why US Unions Face an Existential Crisis, and
What They Can Do to Meet It

A Symposium Led by
Joseph McCartin
Professor, Georgetown University and
Director, the Kalmanovitz Initiative for
Labor and the Working Poor

Capitalism has changed over the past four decades in ways that are increasingly undermining old models of unionism and collective bargaining. It is not merely increased employer resistance that has driven down union membership. A multitude of developments have conspired to undermine the old system, including financialization, globalization, the casualization of the employer-employee relationship, the emerging “gig economy,” and the disaggregation of corporate structures into a dizzying maze of subcontractors, franchises, and lengthening supply chains. The symposium will address how changes have made twentieth-century-style collective bargaining ill-suited to the world most workers now inhabit. What new approaches do unions need to confront the forces that are driving inequality and disempowerment in today’s and tomorrow’s workplaces?

Venue: Woman’sNational Democratic Club
Sign-in opens and lunch is served 1 pm to 2 pm.
Symposium 2 to 5 pm

Additional details to come!

The DC LERA is on the cusp of tidal changes in national labor policies. Battles between powerful political forces in Washington will determine the future of work for decades to come. We are a non-partisan forum in Washington where these conflicting ideas and ideologies coexist.
We sponsor a series of monthly luncheons on crucial economic, legal, and social issues in employer–employee relations. Thanks to our location, DC LERA draws support from the Washington policy community, with members and speakers from government, universities, unions, think tanks, and policy advocate organizations. Our luncheon programs offer great opportunities for labor rela­tions professionals, union leaders, policy special­ists, scholars, and students to express their views, enrich their knowledge and expand their networks.
A special dimension of DC LERA’s program is international labor relations. We are honored and privileged that representatives of Washington’s diplomatic delegations are active participants in our Chapter. They learn, but they also give back. Attachés and counselors give us inside views of labor relations in Asia and Europe.
We invite you to join us in this fascinating journey. You can join or renew by clicking here. Questions? Please send an email to Pat McHugh at  Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to seeing you at our great events!  Your tax adviser should confirm that your payment is tax deductible as dues paid to a non-profit professional association.
Please consider becoming an
Organizational Sponsor of DC LERA
Please click here for more information about sponsorships of DC LERA and how to sign up.


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A 2016 Recap...

The 2016 Election – What It Means for Workers and Unions with guest speaker Harold Meyerson, Executive Director, The American Prospect. Click here to learn more...
Why the 2016 Election Will Be Historic Game Changer for Working Women with guest speaker Dr. Lane Windham, Fellow in Residence, Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative
for Labor and the Working Poor
. Click here to learn more...


The Rise of the Conservative War
on Unions and Civil Rights
with guest speaker

Tula A. Connell, Ph.D.,
Senior Communications Officer Solidarity Center. Click here to learn more...


Trump, Sanders and the Politics of Revolt with guest speaker Harold Meyerson, Executive Director, The American Prospect.  Click here to learn more...
Trade, Jobs and Wages with guest speaker Robert E. Scott, Senior Economist and Director of Trade and
Manufacturing Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute. Click here to learn more...

Organizing for Greater 
Economic, Racial and Social Justice
with guest speaker Prof. Marilyn Sneiderman, Professor, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations / Director, Center for Innovation in Worker Organizations. Click here to learn more...